Beijing criticises Washington's updated report on intellectual property rights

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – China has expressed serious concern over the latest update of the Section 301 report by the United States and its accusations targeting China’s intellectual property rights (IPR) practices, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday (Nov 22).

China has repeatedly emphasised that the investigation and related measures are based on US domestic laws and are intended to implement unilateralism and protectionism, said Mr Gao Feng, the ministry’s spokesman.

The US has violated promises it has made to all World Trade Organisation members and has ignored and broken rules and regulations, he added.

“China will not accept groundless accusations,” Mr Gao said.

The report, which was released in Washington on Tuesday, was an update to the US Trade Representative’s Section 301 investigation into China’s policies involving the transfer of technology and intellectual property.

Senior researcher Ma Yu, at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said: “Innovation and intellectual property are by no means exclusive patents of the US. The use of IPR and the promotion of economic and social progress are also not the exclusive rights of an individual country.”

Mr Ma said intellectual property rights should not be turned into a tool for a country to suppress development of other countries or promote its own self-interests.

On Monday, the US proposed to step up scrutiny over technology exports in 14 key high-tech areas including artificial intelligence and microprocessor technology.

Mr Gao said China is currently evaluating the impact of such a proposal.

“We think national security can be achieved in an open market,” he said. “Overgeneralising the national security issue in order to erect unnecessary trade barriers will do no good to national security or balanced trade development.”

Experts contend the proposal may harm other countries’ high-tech industries, but will also backfire to cause US technology companies to lose business opportunities.

“Many products of US high-tech manufacturers have already been deeply integrated into the global value chain. This move will damage the financial interests of the US companies,” said researcher Liu Yingkui at the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

It will also hurt major US multinational companies, particularly those with production facilities in China, the European Union, South Korea and Japan, because they use them to make goods or provide services, said researcher Sun Fuquan at the Chinese Academy of Science and Technology for Development.

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